A correction was made to this article on April 8, 2005.
Pioneering TV director and producer Greg Garrison died March 25 of pneumonia in Los Angeles. He was 81.
Garrison was partnered for many years with Dean Martin, for whom he produced and directed “The Dean Martin Show” as well as a series of televised celebrity roasts.
He started his career in 1946 at Philadelphia’s WFIL, where he quickly from gopher to cameraman to director. Moving to WENR in Chicago, he directed shows including “Super Circus” and “Stand by for Crime,” both with Mike Wallace.
In New York, Garrison directed “Show of Shows” with Sid Caesar and the Kate Smith show before moving to the Milton Berle show. He directed specials for many stars of the early television years including Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Jack Benny, George Burns, Lucille Ball and Bob Newhart.
In addition to his long relationship with Martin, he worked on the Kennedy/Nixon debate, the 1968 Emmy awards and NBC’s 50th anniversary aniversary specials. He also directed two features, “Hey Let’s Twist” and “Two Tickets to Paris.”
He is survived by wife Judy and a sister.
Donations may be made to the Make a Wish Foundation or the Children’s Burn Foundation of Sherman Oaks.